By Channing King
Stress is inevitable. When stress comes, the best thing we can do is try to manage it. You may not realize it, but stress dramatically affects how your body functions. Your nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, is continually telling your body how to work. The brain sends healing messages down the spinal cord and out your nerves in order to tell muscles, organs, tissues and cells what to do. If you have too much stress, it may cause your spinal bones to shift, putting pressure on your nervous system and blocking your function. I want to talk about three stresses that have, or are, causing dysfunction in your nervous system.
The first, and most obvious, stress is physical stress. Your body is physically stressed when you have bad posture, poor sleeping positions, falls, sporting accidents, and the pulling and twisting in birth. Physical stress is the most noticed of all stresses and is very damaging. When you have too much of it, the functions of your nervous system and spine are altered. The goal is to start watching your daily habits and routines so that you can eliminate some of these physical stresses.
The next stress may surprise you. How is your chemical stress? Commonly, we don’t realize how chemical stress affects our function and healing. There are many chemicals in our world today in our food supply, water supply and even air. We can’t completely avoid chemical stress, but we can limit it. Make it your goal to seek out better, cleaner, and more natural foods, drinks, and environments. Your spine and nervous system can take some chemical stress, but too much and the system can’t adapt to it. When this happens, you develop a functional problem.
The final, and often the most damaging, stress is emotional stress. Our emotions can sometimes be difficult to keep a handle on. This stress may stem from relationships, jobs and/or past or present experiences. Research has shown that emotional stress puts extra tension on your brain and causes tightening of muscles and ligaments. All this happens because we’re emotionally spent. When emotional stress comes, make it your goal to find something that brings peace to your mind. This is different for different people. For some people, it’s a walk in fresh air. For others, it’s listening to music. Some like to count to 10. For me, God’s Word is the best remedy to bring emotional freedom. I’ve found the most peace when I read it, believe it and apply it. Make it your goal to find what brings you relief from your emotional stress.
We have all had stress that has caused changes in our nervous systems and spines. My recommendation is to consider chiropractic care to help correct what past stress has caused. Once you get your function back, don’t forget to watch your stress levels so you can keep the healthy function in your nervous system.